International Journal of
Medicine and Medical Sciences

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Med. Med. Sci.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9723
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJMMS
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 535

Full Length Research Paper

Cause specific and trends of mortality in Nigeria: A six-year study of a tertiary hospital

Christopher Chinedu Obiorah
  • Christopher Chinedu Obiorah
  • Anatomical Pathology Department, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 06 November 2019
  •  Accepted: 10 December 2019
  •  Published: 31 January 2020


Mortality data necessary for proper healthcare planning, policy formulation, and implementation is hampered by a decline in hospital autopsy practice. Therefore, non-autopsy based death profile reviews provide a framework for the presentation and discussion of reliable mortality data. This study aims to present the general mortality profile of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Rivers State, Nigeria. This was a retrospective review of deaths recorded among patients admitted into various wards and emergency units of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital between 1st January, 2012 and 31st December, 2017. Decedent causes of death were eluted from case notes and death certificates, and were systemically classified using the ICD10 disease coding scheme. SPSS version 23 and Minitab version 16 were used for data and trend analysis respectively. A total of 1902 mortalities were recorded in the following order: Diseases of the cardiovascular system - 566 (29.8%), infectious diseases - 360 (18.9%), external causes of morbidity and mortality - 271 (14.2%), malignant neoplasms - 221 (11.6%) and diseases of the endocrine system - 112 deaths (5.9%). Males constituted 989 (52.1%) while females constituted 913 (47.9%). The overall mean age was 46.64± 0.42, range was 1 month to 98 years. Children and adolescents aged 0-19 years recorded 123 (6.5%) deaths while adults aged 20-59 years recorded 1245 (65.5%) and the elderly, aged 60 years and above constituted 556 (28.1%). With due consideration to the possible forces of general population evolution, it was observed that although the trend was undulating, there was an overall increase in mortality over the years, with an upward skew. The study thus showed that diseases of the cardiovascular system have overtaken infectious diseases as the commonest causes of deaths in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, hence the channeling of appropriate health resources towards combating this epidemiological shift is advocated.

Key words: Mortality, cardiovascular, diseases, infectious, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.